Fetalvero: Blocking the way of the green

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By Noemi C. Fetalvero

Two empty bottles

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

WE enjoyed the festivity honoring our beloved Child Jesus but after the party, we came face to face with piles of trash. Have we not learned that “Cleanliness is next to Godliness”?

The trash all around after the grand parade had been reduced in bulk though. Thanks to the young scavengers who made it a working day while we were enjoying the festivity.

They carried bags full of recyclable items, which they could sell and earn them money to buy food.


Promoting tourism as one of the underlying factors why we celebrate Sinulog has a downside. We spend hundreds of thousands in waste management after the celebration.

Why is this so?

The government does not provide trash receptacles where we can throw our garbage and also because many Filipinos simply do not care. Probably next time we can bring brown bags so we can dispose of our trash properly.

We are experiencing the effects of climate change. What needs to change? We live in an era of “disposables.” The book How to To Go Green, authored by John Button noted: “We live in a convenience society, where everyday items from handkerchiefs to razors, kitchen towels to babies’ diapers are increasingly of the disposable variety.”

Button revealed that every year we get through billions of disposable diapers and toilet rolls, then we throw them all away and hope that we won’t need to think about them again.

“But everything has to come from somewhere and everything must go somewhere,” he reminds us.

Button reported that disposable diapers alone use the wood from 30 million trees every year and the chlorine-based chemicals used to bleach everything bright white cause serious pollution in the rivers and seas. “The same chemicals, which contain dioxins, are also thought to be human health risk, especially to babies,” he added.

How many times have I seen used diapers “stranded” in our beaches? Diapers are not easy to recycle. According to Button’s report, they block drains and sewage systems, and can carry a wide range of viruses and bacteria in other words they carry a formidable rubbish problem.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 23, 2014.


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